Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
PETALING JAYA: Former hairdresser Chu Tak Fai, believed to be one of a few foreigners to spend a long sentence in jail for drug trafficking, has finally found his freedom.
The Hong Kong national left for home last week after the Sultan of Kedah gave him the third and final pardon.
The 50-year-old had spent 27 years in jail, including some time on death row.
Chu, who converted to Islam and carries the name Abdul Hadi Chu, was arrested at the Bukit Kayu Hitam immigration control on April 30, 1993 for trafficking in heroin.
A year later, the High Court in Alor Setar sentenced him to death and the Federal Court affirmed the conviction in 2001.
After 12 years on death row, Chu presented a clemency petition to the Kedah Pardons Board in 2006 and had his capital punishment commuted to natural life imprisonment.
In 2014, he submitted another clemency petition and had the natural life imprisonment term converted to life imprisonment of 20 years, to begin from 2016.
Chu submitted his final petition on Feb 8 this year to be freed from jail. This was granted by the sultan.
His lawyer, Abdul Rashid Ismail, said Chu narrated to him that the 27 years (1993-2020) in prison had been a humbling and life-changing experience.
“He has emerged from the lowest ebb in his life to become a totally reformed person,” Rashid said, adding that his client found peace after converting to Islam three years after serving his sentence.
According to a petition filed by Amnesty International in 2001, Chu came from a broken home in Hong Kong.
He left school without any qualifications and found it difficult to find work. He is reported to have agreed to carry drugs to Malaysia to help his family repay heavy debts.
Rashid, who was assisted by Siti Nurani Zahidi and Uthman Ghani in the final petition, said Chu benefitted greatly from the guidance he received from the Pembangunan Insan Programme and the vocational classes held at Kajang Prison.
“His behaviour and conduct were so exemplary that he was appointed to assist prison officers in the management of the prison,” he said, adding that Chu was honoured with the “Blue Suit” award.
Only 11 out of 7,000 prisoners in Kajang have been awarded this “Blue Suit”. Chu is the only foreigner among them.
Rashid said Chu’s family, including his mother and two sisters, had never been able to visit him in prison because of financial reasons.
In 2011, he lost his mother to cancer.
“We thank the Kedah ruler for giving Chu the opportunity to live the remainder of his life with his family,” the lawyer said.
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